Climate justice for the next generation
Climate justice for the next generation

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Climate justice for the next generation

4.3 Taking environmental action

In Section 3 you looked at the different forms of action taken by children campaigning for climate justice, such as the wave of school strikes that affected many countries in 2019. In this section, by drawing on the work of Kraftl once more, you will consider why young people have had such an impact in these campaigns and what they have brought to contemporary debates.

Activity 7

Timing: Allow 30 minutes

Read Changing environments - Taking environmental action [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , then answer the following two questions.

  • 1. In 2019 there were a series of school strikes. What were they and what did they seek to achieve?
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Discussion

The school strikes were weekly protests led by school children against climate change. They sought to pressure the government into acting against further climate damage.

  • 2. List at least three reasons why the climate strikes offer a notable example of youth action.
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Discussion

Answers could include:

  • They are on a global scale
  • They have made effective use of social media to mobilise and visualise the collective protest.
  • They have particular emotional and political overtones, which challenges the notion of children as vulnerable or innocent.
  • They have been highly effective, challenging and even threatening adult authority.

Peter Kraftl has warned against over-romanticising children’s actions and viewing this generation as the first to care about the environment. Nevertheless, there is something unique about the visibility and action of today’s young people.

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